The Gaming Goat
United States
Illinois
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Dear friends/customers,

I am writing this letter as a response to the previous Board Game Geek thread. This will serve as the official response from The Gaming Goat, Inc, as well as my personal beliefs blended together. When I was made aware of the original thread months ago, I sent a kind note to the OP asking if there is anything I could do to make the situation better. I reached out to him on Facebook, as I recognized him as a customer. I sent 2 E-Mails and didn’t receive any response back. I didn’t post directly on the thread because I didn’t feel it was necessary. As an owner of now 2 brick and mortar gaming stores, I know every few (if any) stores that go out of their way to price match anything. In fact, most stores that are known for selling board games go out of their way to NOT price match board games. My goal everyday is to set customer friendly policies that usually differ with the standards set by the gaming industry as a whole.

As many people know, the life of a gaming store is usually very short. I’m sure we can all list the tens of stores we have played at in the past that no longer exist for whatever reason. Liquidators buy out these companies and use Amazon.com to move 10-15 board games of each title, and sometimes more, at lower than a stores cost. With that being said, it’s very tough to price match a game knowing that the store will lose money on the title. It was my fault for not posting the official price match policy. I take full accountability for that. I think 100% of people would agree that they would rather see a store survive to continue to benefit the community than to sell games under cost because someone is accidentally trying to take advantage of the store. I don’t feel that the OP had any bad intentions at all. I think it was a misunderstanding and I would love to take added steps to help the customer appreciate The Gaming Goat once again. As for the receipt, I have zero issues giving a receipt to anyone. I don’t recall what happened exactly to comment on it, but a receipt is pretty easy to print! I do apologize for that as well.

And I also would like to apologize to everyone for the posts made from Michael Purn on the thread. I am not going to make any excuses for what happened. What happened was 100% inappropriate and in extremely bad taste. I am definitely not one to judge on this subject, as I like to poke fun at myself and things about The Gaming Goat in a fun manner all the time, but when customer trolling happens, then it crosses the line. I want people to judge this company by all the good things we have done in the last 2 years. I set forth with one of the most impressive track records that anyone could hope for when I ran the Elgin location personally. People were happy, events were full, and money was being made to sustain the business well into the future. Seems good right? 100% of the funds were used to open another location in Schaumburg, IL which was in void of having a large tournament store for TCG/Board Game play. With this store opening, it removed me from daily coverage at the Elgin location on a consistent basis. Nothing should have changed about the way people are treated, and events are run, and other factors in Elgin. (But if they have, its 100% on my shoulders and my responsibility to fix)

I am reviewing the thread in detail, and the 50 E-Mails sent to me on this subject. A decision will be made this week and actions will be taken. I am also going to personally spend significantly more time in the Elgin location in the future because frankly I miss it! And I hope to see all my old friends there to play some EDH, talk some gaming, or just hang out. The Elgin location is my baby, and it always will be. It is what releases me from the depths of corporate America and gave me a pipeline of around 250 new friends that I talk to every week to this day--some of the best people I have ever met in fact.
If anyone has any questions, concerns, or just want to drop me a line… Feel free anytime! Feedback is what helps me run TGG, Inc. As the only feedback I care about is my customer’s feedback.

Sincerely,
Jeff Bergren
(CEO/President – TGG, Inc.)
jeff@thegaminggoat.com
312-493-0414 (Cell)
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Pete Hooper
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Rockford
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thegaminggoat wrote:
And I also would like to apologize to everyone for the posts made from Michael Purn on the thread. I am not going to make any excuses for what happened as well. What happened was 100% inappropriate and in extremely bad taste. I am definitely not one to judge on this subject, as I like to poke fun at myself and things about The Gaming Goat in a fun manner all the time! But when customer trolling happens, then it crosses the line.


I disagree with you on a point you've made. You are absolutely the one to judge on this subject. Michael Purn's idiocy in the original thread doesn't damage his reputation nearly as much as it damages yours. He put himself out there as the voice of your company, and not only managed to tarnish a lot of good will, but to engender incredibly negative impressions of your company in my mind -- and I have absolutely no prior experience with The Gaming Goat!

It's perfectly fine to poke fun at oneself, but based on your words, you have the intelligence not to do so when there's a customer who clearly feels there's a big problem.

I'd recommend firing Purn, if you haven't already done so. If you feel the need to continue employing him, then you may wish to consider placing him in a position where he has no contact with customers and carefully monitoring anything he says about your company.

Just my two cents.

Pete
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Troy
Canada
Stratford
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nightglider1 wrote:
I'd recommend firing Purn, if you haven't already done so. If you feel the need to continue employing him, then you may wish to consider placing him in a position where he has no contact with customers and carefully monitoring anything he says about your company.


I have to agree with Pete.

I work in the service industry (not retail but I deal with customers all the time). If I treated anyone the way that Mr. Purn did I would lose my job instantly. If for some miracle I kept my job I would be supervised very closely.

With that said your official response sounds sincere and hopefully you can resolve any of the issues that people have had with your business in a civil manner.
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The War Chief
United States
Parkville
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BRING ME THE HEAD OF SETH NEMEC AND RIK FALCH!!!!!!
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In Memorial: Moose, my dog. B:? D:01/13/16. He died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. You will be missed.
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Just passing by and your posting caught my attention. Followed the link to the OP.

The facts are clear. Mr. Purn has severely damaged the reputation of both your store and your personal reputation.

As a former retail manager, I would strongly suggest his immediate dismissal. Mr. Purn had no right to speak for your stores, nor pose as your representative in this matter.

I hope that you can repair the tremendous damage Mr. Purn has caused to your reputation. Keeping him as an employee only solidifies the negative reputation he has brought you and your store.
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The Gaming Goat
United States
Illinois
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Michael Purn has been terminated over the mis-treatment of social networking privileges, and customer issues tonight. I do put my money where my mouth is, and I will be taking over the Elgin location once again. I hope that everyone will come on out and have a good time with us. If anyone has any questions or comments feel free to reach out. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Jeff Bergren
(CEO/President – TGG, Inc.)
jeff@thegaminggoat.com
312-493-0414 (Cell)
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Shawn George
United States
Toledo
Ohio
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In case there's any doubt about the OP's identity, this Facebook post seems to verify what's been said: https://www.facebook.com/thegaminggoat/posts/533827299964257

Props to Mr. Bergren for doing the right thing, even though it is the difficult thing to do. I've never been to your store, but I will try and make it a point to stop by next time I'm in the Chicago area.
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Nickel Ariola
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Thank you so much Jeff for standing up for all the people who voiced complaints in the previous thread. I felt completely uncomfortable entering the Elgin store ever again because of Purn, but now I am going there today and it feels really great since that was the store where I started getting into Magic! I missed it a lot, going elsewhere just was not as satisfying. You are a really great person, a really great manager, and run a really great store. Your post means and shows a lot.
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NT Goat
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Read the previous thread - was it this Purn guy running around screaming "Penis" in a store full of children or was it the owner?
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Pete Hooper
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Rockford
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NotTheGoat wrote:
Read the previous thread - was it this Purn guy running around screaming "Penis" in a store full of children or was it the owner?


According to the post, it was the owner. "Penis" is the proper name for a part of the body, and while it might not be the most appropriate thing to overhear in a retail establishment, it's quite tame compared to some things I've witnessed.

But I wonder, are you truly a concerned poster, or, as I suspect, are you just a shill/sockpuppet looking to continue to flog the topic?
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NT Goat
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Just wondering why, if the owner displays such bazaar behavior, it should come as any surprise that one of his managers behaves so poorly. Seems to me this owner is using his manager as a scapegoat to deflect from some of his own behavior. Maybe the problem wasn't so much with the manager as it is with the attitude the owner projects for his business. Sorry, I've never been anywhere where an owner of a business has yelled "Penis" in front of children - but if I'm looking for that kind of experience, Elgin must be the place to go.
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Shawn George
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Toledo
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Matthew M
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Please do not blindly speculate about whether a user is a shill/sock-puppet/etc. Flag offensive posts and/or report suspicious activity to a moderator (I'm a good choice!) and let us take a closer look and handle things accordingly.

Thanks.
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Sean Carrick
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Beaverton
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Hey man, I will probably never be in Elgin, but having just watched the situation unfold, I'd like to wish you luck on repairing any damage caused to your business or reputation. Trolls ruin it for everyone.
 
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Pete Hooper
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Rockford
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Octavian wrote:
Please do not blindly speculate about whether a user is a shill/sock-puppet/etc.


My apologies. The "new user" badge combined with thumbing one's own posts is certainly suggestive. I will be sure to have concrete evidence next time.
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Texas
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Well these threads have been fun.
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Chris Bergeson
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update after a while- Michael Purn was re-hired (and likely never really fired) and is working with TGG again. Purn has been a negative fixture in the Mtg scene for as long as I can remember and has always had the attitude that has been displayed in these posts. During a Mtg event I watched him verbally berate a child at length after someone he loaned cards to came out on the losing end of a trade with the child. The child was reduced to tears, and Purn was asked to leave the event.

Jeff Bergren is newer in the gaming community, but I have heard almost nothing besides negative things about him, all from word of mouth from asking randomly around the chicago area mtg community. I have heard stories of him paying players to not attend other store's events, verbally harassing other store owners and employees, and other similarly deplorable actions. My money will never touch any aspect of the Gaming Goat, and actions like these should not be tolerated in the gaming community.
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The War Chief
United States
Parkville
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BRING ME THE HEAD OF SETH NEMEC AND RIK FALCH!!!!!!
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In Memorial: Moose, my dog. B:? D:01/13/16. He died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. You will be missed.
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Looks like the owner of The Gaming Goat really does not care about his customers.

Best bet would be for gamers in the area to find another LGS to go to. Perhaps the owner would finally get the message with an empty store and cash register.whistle

If a store employee, or anyone, berated my grandson to the point of tears, keeping their job would be the least of their worries.arrrh
 
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